During a gloomy winters evening in 2010, I met Joel Biroco at his flat in East London and have remained friends till this very day. I spent a great deal of time with Joel, discussing the Yijing, Daoism, Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta among thousands of other things.
I can vividly recall all the time spent drinking pots of exotic loose-leaf teas in his garden overlooking the unobstructed horizon, spotting geese flying in chevron, watching out for the neighbors cat at sunset while trying to identify the stars and constellations. Trudging round Walthamstow Reservoir and Epping Forest looking for banded demoiselles , little white egrets and cormorants, while lugging a heavy rucksack filled to bursting with an assortment of lager and stout tins and burning through a large pouch of Golden Virginia. Meeting mutual friends at charming old London pubs trying to keep abreast of the many interesting conversations to the point of forgetting our surroundings and being embarrassingly chucked out at closing time (they still let us back in the next time! occasionally with friendly reminders but to very little avail!). In the last year we spent good amount of time going on pub crawls in Bloomsbury, Soho and several parts of sub-urban East London whilst making interesting friends along the way or being told historical facts about the area. It is impossible to condense or eloquently express the details of my formative years spent in such lively good company and so I will leave it here for now.
Gyrus, whom I met through Joel on a few occasions in the pub, has recently published a very good interview with Joel on his recently resurrected blog Dreamflesh. I cannot recommend it enough. Both Gyrus and Joel have carried out a remarkably refreshing discussion on Advaita non-duality, philosophy, psychology and the occult. I was barely able to read the interview sat-down due to over-excitement and unavoidable nostalgia. I need not say more, read it for yourself.